Juna's "Amanat" Is the Most Unusual Breakup Song
Juna is an eight-piece indie folk band from Kazan, Russia. They have just released their debut album "Amanat" that took three years to make. The ambitious project was presented with two sold-out shows where the band was backed by a choir. All of the songs on the album feature lyrics by modern Tatar poets. We asked Juna's Alexandra Mustafina to tell us the story behind the one that gave its name to the album.

Alexandra Mustafina
backing vocals, ukulele, banjo, metallophone
Әманәт (Amanat) is a song based on Luiza Yansuar's poem.

The word itself has multiple meanings. For instance, a religious one – "what Allah entrusted to his people". This is something that has been passed from one generation to another, both physical, like things and property, and immaterial – mother tongue and history, generally, anything that has been prescribed to be kept carefully. There is also a formal meaning – bank deposit. Hostages in times of war were called amanats as well.

We understand әманәт as "a thing to keep through generations". Poets entrusted us with their poems to keep. This is their әманәт. And we're entrusting this album to the audience.

In simple terms, the song is about a person coping with a terrible loss, realizing that every good thing must end, dealing with the feeling of emptiness and the struggle of accepting all that. This can be seen as a story about breakup or death.

The music for this poem came very naturally. It seemed to be made to be put to music, with its structure resembling the verses of a song. With each line the protagonist dives deeper and deeper into his sorrow and pain. This makes the first part of it.

The second part with multiple voices is the dreadful realization. This part was originally made for choir, and this is how it sounded at the album presentation.

And the third part is complete chaos and confusion, mincing of all of the lyrics. It was inspired by the ending of Ludus from Tabula Rasa concerto by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.
Follow Juna on Facebook and Instagram. Listen to their album "Amanat" on your platform of choice.

Thanks to Oleg Kovalenko for help with translation.